Three takeaways from Liverpool's Premier League win over Fulham

Finally, the Reds put forth a lively performance that included a bit of end product. Let's talk about what we saw.
Fulham FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Fulham FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

It can happen- on a visit to Fulham, Liverpool finally broke their long streak of not scoring from open play, and picked up a huge road win in the process.

It still has yet to be determined whether the improvements they showed on Sunday will help them win the Premier League, or if it's a case of "too little too late," but let's talk about the three biggest takeaways from the promising performance.

Diogo was, in fact, the answer

After weeks of hoping that the return of the Portuguese striker might help Liverpool finish some of their promising moves, Jota finally made a start, his first since February 10th, and returned to the scoresheet for the first time since that day as well.

He racked up 0.34 xG on target from 0.41 xG, and most importantly, showed composure in front of the net when it mattered and tucked away a nice chance to bury the game.

Meanwhile, after entering the game late, Darwin Nunez found a way to be flagged for offsides twice, and generally looked a mess in the attacking third.

Mo Salah was also far from his best self, as he failed to generate any offense to speak of. While both of these players provide a burst that Jota does not, and are thus extremely valuable as wingers, Sunday's showing for all players involved underscored the importance of Jota's technical ability around the net.

Gakpo is still a top player- when allowed to play his natural position

Another contributor to the improved attack was the team's much-maligned Dutch forward. Gakpo contributed the assist for the Jota goal, and he did so in magnificent fashion, with some great ball control and dribbling before the progressive pass.

Gakpo has recently shown signs of improved play, but almost entirely when he plays on the left wing, rather than striker, where he's often appeared as a rest-day replacement for Darwin.

Unfortunately, his efforts had not been rewarded on the stat sheet until this match- this was his first goal contribution for Liverpool since scoring on April 4th against Sheffield, and his first assist for the club since February 17th against Brentford.

It was also quietly a fantastic shooting performance for Gakpo, although he was a bit less lucky in this regard; his shots combined for just 0.13 xG, but he turned that into 0.88 xG on target.

It was a strong all-around performance for Gakpo, who created a pair of chances, including of course the one for Jota, completed an impressive 86% of his 36 attempted passes, was successful on three of his four dribble attempts, and even made 10 recoveries dropping back to defend.

Hopefully, this showing will provide him with some confidence, and Klopp with some food for thought as he picks his last five starting lineups as Liverpool manager.

There's no replacement for Trent Alexander-Arnold

Let's get one thing straight- this is the farthest thing possible from a dig at Conor Bradley. However, as well as the youngster performed in relief of the team's first-choice right back, he's not a true replacement for the Scouser in our team, because nobody could be.

It's not just the magnificent free kick goal that got Liverpool on the board- a 0.06 xG chance that Trent turned into 0.56 xG on target and of course a huge opening score- it's the overall creative ability that few players in the world possess.

In addition to his lethal strike, Trent generated 0.21 expected assists, completed five long balls, and made 15 passes into the final third. He also played some pretty solid defensive football, an area often seen as a weakness for him.

When Bradley is once again fit, it's hard to know whether Trent will be slotting into the lineup in his customary right-back position or elsewhere, but one thing has become clear; he has to be included in the XI for every remaining match.

It's also worth noting that his partner in crime, Andy Robertson, created a pair of chances in the match- it seems that the Premier League's ultimate fullback dynamic duo might finally be back.